West and Zampella seek to block delay in Activision trial

Claim expansion of case interferes with running Respawn

Respawn Bosses Jason West and Vincent Zampella are protesting a recent attempt by Activision to broaden the allegations regarding their acrimonious departure from Infinity Ward.

Last month, Activision alleged that the pair had been colluding with EA prior to their departure, as well as attempting to sabotage marketing efforts by fellow Call of Duty developer Treyarch.

Consumer site Kotaku has seen legal documents alleging that Activision was previously aware of EA's claimed discussions with the pair, but had waited six months to add this to its counter-suit in order to delay the trial.

West and Zampella are trying to block this expansion of the case, claiming that they are "paying for this litigation from our own funds", with costs exceeding their combined annual salaries.

They also allege that the ongoing legal battle is interfering with the running of new studio Respawn. "Any delay of the trial in this lawsuit would increase the financial and non-financial burdens and would continue to distract us from running our business and earning a living."

As part of its sought expansion of the suit, Activision is demanding $400 million from EA. The rival publisher's head of communication Jeff Brown referred to Activision's claim as "a PR play filled with pettiness and deliberate misdirection."

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Latest comments (8)

EA guy claims that the title Respawn are working on is still expected to be after the Insomniac multiplatform title.

Lets hope this gets sorted out quickly, I am eager to see what Respawn do next. Although I'm sure Activision are not!
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Michael Armer Studying Games Development National Diploma Level 3, Lancaster and Morecambe College9 years ago
Activision should leave this alone now, its making them look more and more like a big money grabbing company that does not care about the little people. everyone that reads news like this normally sides with the under dog.
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@Michael Armer. I have to disagree with you there michael. There is probably allot more to this than the public knows. I believe both sides have their merits. Besides, Regardless the public scandals all the big players have done; EA spouse, Rockstar Spouse, Ex Infinity ward Employees Vs Acitivision and so on, I'm sure that wouldn't affect your decision if one of these companies offered you a job as a games developer (whatever that position may be) with good future advancement possibilities. Cause lets be honest, as a fellow student, we're going try and take what we can in this industry with regards to at least a reasonable starting salary.

I just want both sides to find a fair way to resolve all this and get on with what really matters; Making games.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Khaled Al-Hurby on 5th January 2011 2:05pm

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John Donnelly Quality Assurance 9 years ago
On one hand yes its looking bad for Activision, but on the other hand if there was wrong doing by West and Zampella then Activision has the right to persue that in the courts as they have to defend their rights to run their own studios in line with their business plan.

On the other hand the fact that a number of current and ex studio employees are taking Activision to count does add some weight to the comments made by West and Zampella about Activision and its management trying to withhold bonuses to ensure that the next game was completed in their time table.

There may be truth to both sides with them being all as dirty as eachother but the only thing we know is that is going to be messy as each side needs to be seen to be right to safe face if nothing else.

Alas drama happens even in the business world but it should not be the only factor when looking at a company for employment options when you are looking for a job you have to work out if its a good for for what you want know the risks involved.

I just hope that they will sort this out sooner rather than later as it would be nice to know what the result fo the court case is so we can see who was in the right and who was in the wrong.
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Stefan Pettersson Specialist Consultant, Fat Tuna9 years ago
In Sweden the loser pays ALL costs for BOTH parts after a trial has finished. This way you don't sue someone unless you're sure you'll win.

This way, if getting sued, everyone can afford to bring in the best lawyers money can buy. Unless you're guilty of course. Then you better make sure you're not ending up getting sued in the first place.

Swedens system seems a lot more democratic than the US-system where the richer part can dictate the terms and also delay the trial by producing tons of paperwork.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Stefan Pettersson on 5th January 2011 2:51pm

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Christian Thum Community Manager, OnnetCorp9 years ago

It's the same here in Germany.


I'm not sure who is right and who is wrong. Maybe both of them have done "wrong" things. So lets see what the court will find out.
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Matthew Farber Senior Gameplay Engineer, Spark Unlimited9 years ago
I guess that's really the thing here. Kotaku "has seen" legal documents regarding the suit but none of us have. It's hard not to think of Activision being the bad guys here, after everything else they've done in recent months, but nobody really knows what actually happened yet. So I think you have to really reserve judgment until (if) we find out.
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J. Goldmaker Community Management 9 years ago
Reminds me of the days before Qmodem.
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